During the last twelve months, the various departments of the Haifa research facility have embarked on an
ambitious course of industry cooperation, set by the Labs' director, Dr. Michael Rodeh. The program set out by Rodeh called for a set of industry-wide seminars and workshops designed to bring together I/T professionals, researchers, and university personnel for a meeting of the minds.
The seminars offered by the IBM Haifa departments in such areas as verification technology, storage systems, and compiler architecture, have done that and more. Free and open to the public, the seminars have formed and bolstered communities in the Israeli high-tech environment, promoted cooperation and collaboration regarding technological developments and breakthroughs, while enhancing Big Blue's role as an industry leader. Quite literally, yesterday's competitors have become today's collaborators.
The Haifa seminars plan is based on an IBM policy summarily stated by IBM CEO and President Sam Palmisano in his speech to the TJ Watson Research Center in November of 2002.
"We need to drive a standards agenda," Palmisano noted. "The lack of standards is an inhibitor to growth in the industry."
By hosting seminars in a number of diverse fields, the IBM Haifa Labs have encouraged networking and cooperation among a significant number of Israeli industry professionals. This move has leveraged the seminars, giving them added value as community-building measures. Pushing cooperation has turned the Haifa seminars into a sort of dynamic standards committee-lecturers from competing companies in the same field have openly discussed their solutions to common problems, enabling all to benefit, thereby encouraging further collaboration.
Since late June 2002, seven full-day seminars have been hosted by the Haifa research facility. Hundreds of researchers, students, professors, I/T personnel, representatives of venture capital funds, government employees, and independent contractors have met under the IBM Haifa roof to discuss, investigate, and share knowledge about hot new technologies. By working to promote collaboration, the IBM Haifa Labs have helped to redefine the Israeli industrial landscape, and further the standards agenda needed by the entire industry.